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High school football press boxes

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NightHawk112005, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Here's something that happened to me tonight. I'm covering one of the local high schools and sitting in the press box, since the game's being played in a college facility. Two seats away is a parent who's filming the game for the local school. Of course, this parent is openly cheering for his son's team and screaming his head off at the referees whenever he thinks they've made a mistake. About 25 times, I want to say to the guy that I'm trying to work and ask if he could please move elsewhere, but I elected not to because we were the only people in the box at the time.

    Then later in the game, the writer from a competitor paper joins me to cover the later game and we start talking about the upcoming second round, where the winner of the first game will play the best team in the state, assuming it doesn't choke. Said best team is up 33-0 in the third quarter, so I say to the other writer that these teams are playing to see who gets their butts handed to them next week. The parent turns to me and says that's a bad attitude "especially because you work for the paper". My immediate response is to ask him what the heck my working for the paper has anything to do with it, and he sarcastically responds "You're right."

    What do you think? Should parents be allowed in press boxes if they aren't performing an important function? And what would you have done here?
  2. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    yup. Ignore it is the right answer. The guy's just a foof anyway.
  3. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    Yeah probably just let him be an ass, although if you're going to ignore his obnoxious cheering than he should've ignored your comments.

    Any good athletic director would make clear to these video-taping parents -- before the season even starts -- that you cannot behave like that in the press box. Unfortunately, many athletic directors -- as well as the scoreboard operators, stat keepers and everyone else up there -- has or had kids who played for the team so they're all in the same boat.

    I wish I had a dime for every non-media member who was acting like this in the press box. It's just one of the many fun things that come along with covering high school sports.

  4. For the record, you SHOULD be careful making those kinds of comments, especially around parents.
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I work for a school district in the central office, and I do not allow people to call them press boxes around me.

    I call them parent boxes or booster boxes.

    I did it just this Friday when I was told a high school softball field was building a "press box."
  6. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Forgive my rare idealism, but I'm pretty sure the home team would argue that having a game film is pretty important, particularly as exchanging films becomes mandatory in the playoffs.
  7. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I would have spoken to the athletic director or person in charge of the press box -- privately -- before talking to the parent,

    I would also never discuss something like "These guys are playing to get buried in the next round."

    That's unprofessional.

    I do agree that press boxes can be dicey. I actually had an AD about to send two of us out in the rain, because the opposing team needed to scout. (There still would have been room.)

    His call, and I would have complained to the school on Monday, but the retired AD took the guy to the side and the AD got us seats.

    I hate it more when there are opposing coaches there, not in a separate booth, but in the box.

    You cannot blame them for cheering or communicating with the bench. Unfortinately, they are also usually pretty loud.
  8. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    No problems with filming the game, it's a very big part of the sport. But it IS possible to film it without acting like an ass.
  9. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Ayup -- better to think it than say it. Parents have a tendency to be touchy about such things, especially when their kid is being, or about to be, throttled.

    I had Soccer Dad lose his shit at me once because, as his son's team was losing 6-0 and making six substitutions at once, I said it was scrub-a-dub-dub time. While I was correct (they went on to lose by 11 or 12), I deserved it.
  10. I don't think it was. I wasn't having the discussion with him. He just butted into my conversation. I'm not going to censor myself when talking to another writer just because a parent happens to be around.
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    That parent is a reader. You don't have a problem giving the appearance of bias in front of readers?
  12. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Perhaps, but is this really a battle you need to fight?
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